Unspeakable names

Synthese 201 (2):1-19 (2023)
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Abstract

There are some names which cannot be spoken and others which cannot be written, at least on certain very natural ways of conceiving of them. Interestingly, this observation proves to be in tension with a wide range of views about what names are. Prima facie, this looks like a problem for predicativists. Ultima facie, it turns out to be equally problematic for Millians. For either sort of theorist, resolving this tension requires embracing a revisionary account of the metaphysics of names. Revisionary Millianism, I argue, offers some important advantages over its predicativist competitor.

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Eliot Michaelson
King's College London

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